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Posted September 27, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

Weekend events emphasize free fun

Smithsonian museums, poker run, blues festival highlight Saturday

By Josette Keelor -- jkeelor@nvdaily.com

Area residents looking for a weekend of mostly free fun will find events for the whole family that celebrate heritage, harmony and history. Other events will raise funds for charity by offering food, music story times, shopping opportunities and prizes.

In an effort to encourage volunteerism in the parks, Shenandoah National Park will join other national parks around the country in offering a fee-free day.

In honor of Public Land Day, the park will hold an event at the Byrd Visitor Center and Big Meadows at mile 51.2 along Skyline Drive.

Registration will take place from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Byrd Visitor Center, followed by a presentation/orientation from 9:30 to 10 a.m. and the service project from 10 a.m. to noon at Big Meadows.

Participants will assist with field work to help preserve the Big Meadows cultural landscape. The service project will take place in the meadow and will include cutting black locust saplings using loppers and/or folding handsaws. The park will provide leather gloves and any other needed equipment. Volunteers should come dressed for working outdoors -- long pants and closed-toe shoes are strongly recommended -- and should bring water, food, sunscreen and bug spray.

Registration paperwork can be emailed to participants prior to the event. To RSVP or to obtain more information, please call Cindy Blugerman, Natural Resources Volunteer Coordinator at 999-3500, ext.3437 or call 1-888-896-3833.

Also free this weekend will be participating Smithsonian museums around the country.

For the 6th annual Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day, museums will offer free admission with a ticket, which will allow one person per household to come with a guest.

The ticket does not include parking, special events or exhibits.

Download tickets at www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/

Museums that reach capacity will have the right to limit the number of guests until space becomes available.

In Frederick and Clarke counties, nine area museums participating will be Abram's Delight Museum, George Washington's Office Museum, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters Museum, the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum in Winchester; the Newtown History Center of the Stone House Foundation in Stephens City, Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown and in Berryville and the Clarke County Historical Association Museum and Clermont Farm.

Winchester

In Winchester, more than 20 Old Town businesses will participate in the first ever Stop, Shop, & Give event, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Participating merchants have agreed to donate five percent of sales during that time to the Old Court House Civil War Museum, Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum and Handley Regional Library.

Aimee Gangai, from Handley Regional Library Youth Services Division, will offer two interactive story times for children with the theme "a few of my favorite things." The first story unfolds in front of the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum at 12:30 p.m., and another tale will be told on the steps of the Old Court House Civil War Museum at 1 p.m. Opportunities for children to create a book mark or a handkerchief doll will coincide with the two story times.


Shenandoah

Sponsored jointly by the Rotary Clubs of the Shenandoah Valley, the Rotary Poker Run will travel 90 miles around the county Saturday, beginning at the Strasburg Town Park and ending at the Woodstock Shopping Center north of Woodstock.

Motorcycles, cars, SUVs, trucks and motor homes are welcome. Designated leaders will take groups to checkpoints along the way, where refreshments will be served and participants will pick a poker card.

Stops on the Poker Run are in each town where a Rotary Club is located: Strasburg, Luray, Broadway/Timberville, Mt. Jackson/New Market, Edinburg and Woodstock.

At the end of the run, cash prizes will go to the person with the best poker hand, the worst poker hand and the most aces. There also will be a 50/50 raffle and door prizes.

Driver fee to participate is $25. Proceeds go to Stop Hunger Now, a Rotary-sponsored nationwide program to provide food to Americans where it is needed.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. with staggered groups driving off, starting at 10 a.m. Vehicles will not be racing; just vying for the best poker hand.
Event registration forms are available at Buggy B's in Strasburg. For more information, email kathy.kanter@yahoo.com or call 465-9242.

Front Royal

In Front Royal, the Brew and Blues Festival will take place from 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday

The festival will offer microbrew and domestic beer sampling, festival foods, shopping and blues entertainment. Onsite will be 20 different microbrews, and tasters will receive a commemorative 16-ounce pilsner glass and 10 tickets for samplings or toward the purchase of full beers.

"Patty Reese and Band 1" and "Moodog Medicine Show" will perform.

General admission is $2. For those who wish to sample microbrews, admission will be $13 for advance tickets or $17 at the gate.

For more information, call 635-3185.

Also in Front Royal, the Heartfelt Women & Teens Conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The cost is $25 for adults and $15 for teens.

The 2nd annual Heartfelt Women & Teens Conference is for mothers and their at-home daughters. This year's theme is "Living Gods Story of Grace," with guest speaker and author Elizabeth Turnage. The community wide event will include worship, teaching, fellowship, food and shopping from local vendors.

For tickets or more information, call 660-1733 or email s.marchand@comcast.net

Harrisonburg

Rappahannock County's Double-Header Weekend includes a farm tour of 19 places and a Civil War reenactment. Children can take part in a scavenger hunt at one farm and plant seeds at another, and adults can watch grafting and pruning of apple trees, sample from 400 heirloom apple varieties and look for a tiny tree called "Purple Ghost" at a Japanese Maple nursery.

The Civil War Reenactment will be on Saturday at the Visitor's Center.

For more information, call 675-3153, email info@visitrappahannockVA.com or visit www.farmtour.visitrappahannockVA.com.

Also on Saturday, the Annual Harrisonburg International Festival will feature international foods, music, dance and activities for all ages, a multi-language area, teen spacefest and a world bazaar featuring traditional folk art. The event will go on rain or shine.

For more information, call 433-9168.

CrossRoads Heritage Center's Annual Harvest Day will take place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offer fun for the whole family, including old-time games and crafts, pumpkin painting, barnyard animals feeding, pancakes and butter making, cider pressing and woodworking. Adults will enjoy special music, boiling molasses, spinning, quilting, blacksmithing demonstrations and homemade foods, including ice cream.

For more information, visit www.vbmhc.org or call 438-1275.


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